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 p350  Congiarium

Article by Leonhard Schmitz, Ph.D., F.R.S.E., Rector of the High School of Edinburgh
on pp350‑351 of

William Smith, D.C.L., LL.D.:
A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, John Murray, London, 1875.

CONGIA′RIUM (scil. vas, from congius) a vessel containing a congius. [Congius.]

In the early times of the Roman republic, the congius was the usual measure of oil or wine which was, on certain occasions, distributed among the people (Liv. XXV.2); and thus congiarium, as Quintilian (VI.3 §52) says, became a name for liberal donations to the people, in general, whether consisting of oil, wine, corn,º or money, or other things (Plin. H. N. XIV.14, 17, XXXI.7, 41; Suet. Aug. 41, Tib. 20, Ner. 7; Plin. Paneg. 25; Tac. Ann. XII.41, XIII.31; Liv. XXXVII.57), while donations made to the soldiers were called donativa, though they were sometimes also termed congiaria  p351 (Cic. ad Att. XVI.8; Curt. VI.2). Congiarium was, moreover, occasionally used simply to designate a present or a pension given by a person of high rank, or a prince, to his friends; and Fabius Maximus called the presents which Augustus made to his friends, on account of their smallness, heminaria, instead of congiaria, because hemina was only the twelfth part of a congius. (Quintil. l.c.; compare Cic. ad Fam. VIII.1; Seneca, De Brevit. Vit., De Ben. II.16; Suet. Vesp. 18, Caes. 27).

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